“Jesus, Jonah, and You”
April 16, 2023
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
The Reading of the Word
We return, this morning, to our series in the Gospel of Mark.
For the first 34 verses of Mark chapter four – and the last four sermons we’ve considered – Jesus has been teaching and preaching. He has been giving parables and instruction. He has been using a boat for a pulpit, floating a little bit from the shore, while the crowd stood on the beach, listening to him.
And it’s after that time of preaching and teaching that our text picks up.
With that said, we come to Mark 4:35-41.
Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning:
35 On that day, when evening had come, he [that is, Jesus,] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
This is the word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]
Let’s pray …
Prayer of Illumination
Let your saving hand be close to us,
for we have bound ourselves to your precepts.
We long for your salvation, Lord,
because your law is our delight.
Give our souls life, that we might praise you,
and help us now through your word.
We have each gone astray like lost sheep.
As we come to your word now, we ask you to seek us.
For we have not forgotten your word to us.
Grant this, we ask, in Jesus’s name. Amen.
[Based on Psalm 119:173-176]
As we come to our text this morning, I want to consider four things that we see here:
- First, we’ll see that in this passage Jesus affirms our humanity.
- Second, we’ll see that Jesus enters our story.
- Third, we’ll see how Jesus is sovereign over our storms.
- And fourth we’ll see how Jesus is swallowed-up for our salvation.
Jesus Affirms Our Humanity
So, first, we see that Jesus affirms our humanity.
Jesus Christ, Mark tells us at the very beginning of his Gospel, is the Son of God. He is the second person of the Trinity – our Lord and King.
In his incarnation – in becoming fully human, Jesus became the perfect model for us to emulate, and an example for us to follow.
And so, as we think of our calling to follow and to imitate Christ, we need to pay attention to all sorts of things that Jesus says and does.
And one thing that we can easily miss as we read through this story, is that before the main event even begins, Jesus is teaching us something about what it means to be a human being.
In verse thirty-eight, Jesus is asleep.
And that’s significant for a few reasons.
For one, it’s a reminder that in his incarnation, in coming to earth, Jesus really was fully human. He didn’t just appear to be human. He didn’t just pretend to be human. He didn’t fake it. He truly was human. We will see Jesus do extraordinary things in this passage, so it is noteworthy that before he does anything miraculous, Jesus and Mark both remind us that Jesus was fully and truly human.
Second, along with that, it means that Jesus both took on, and affirmed, the limitations of what it means to be a human being.
To be human, by definition, means to be limited. And the truth is that most of us have very unhealthy relationships with our limitations.
One temptation for some of us is to exaggerate our limitations. We reduce the list of what we are capable of more than we should. We extend the list of what we are not capable of more than is right. We do little with our time, and maybe little with our lives, when we could do much more.
Sometimes we do this because we believe a lie that we are less than what God has made us to be. Other times this tendency can be a form of laziness masquerading as humility. But whatever the motivation behind it, some of us exaggerate our limitations.
But on the other hand, some of us resent, and deny, and are ashamed of our natural human limitations. And that’s an issue, I think, for many of us here. We have a lot of high-achievers in this congregation.
And it’s good to make the most of the gifts and abilities God has given you. But some of us extend that into a resentment over the fact that God has imposed real limitations on us as humans.
And a great example of that is sleep. Some of us are embarrassed that we need sleep. We are ashamed that there are limits on how much work we can do. When we go without enough sleep, we’re tempted to subtly brag about it – as if we have accomplished something commendable. When we require more sleep, and it comes up, we are apologetic about it. God, in his wisdom, has placed limitations on how much conscious activity we can accomplish each day – he’s designed us to need sleep. And just as some of the celibates in the ancient church were ashamed that God had made humanity as sexual creatures, so some of the high achievers in the modern church are ashamed that God made humanity as sleeping creatures.
But Jesus and Mark were not ashamed of that. Jesus was tired, and so he slept. And Mark doesn’t hide that, but he draws our attention to it.
And it’s not just that Jesus slept, but the circumstances are noteworthy too.
First of all, Jesus fell asleep before the day was really done. Sure, it was evening, we read in verse thirty-five. But there was still activity going on – the work of the day was not yet complete for many, but Jesus falls asleep. If he can rightly fall asleep in such circumstances, how much more can we?
Second, Jesus falls asleep in a way that accepts service and care from others. There is still hard work to be done to get the ship across the water. But Jesus falls asleep and lets others man the ship for him. Jesus here allows himself not just to rest, but to rest at the expense of others, when appropriate. If the One who, when speaking of redemption, said that he did not come to be served but to serve – if he could still accept the service of others when it came to his natural human limitations, then how much more should we?
Third, he falls asleep after a day of non-physical labor. Jesus has been exerting himself – don’t get me wrong. But his has been a day of mental and verbal exertion. And yet still, he is tired out from it. Those of us who do similar work can feel affirmed in the tiredness we may feel after such labors. But with that, if Jesus can righty feel tired, and seek rest, after a day of mental and verbal exertion, then how much more should those who spend the day exerting themselves physically, whether in the workplace or in the home, also feel affirmed in and accept the tiredness they feel at the end of the day, and the rest they need to take?
Fourth, Jesus falls asleep here as a healthy, relatively young man. Jesus is in his early thirties at this point, and we’re not told of any health challenges he had. If he can rightfully take rest, and accept service from others, while in his physical prime, then how much more should those of us who are older, or who are weaker, or who are dealing with physical illness – how much more should we accept our limitations, and our need for rest and sleep?
Finally, let’s also throw in there that Jesus shows himself here to be a pretty heavy sleeper! He didn’t spring into action at the slightest noise or indication of need. The storm is raging around him, men are laboring, water is filling the boat, and Jesus sleeps through it! Personally, for myself, as a guy who needs multiple alarm clocks to get up in the morning (like … if I told you the details, you wouldn’t believe it), when I read about Jesus sleeping through the storm … I feel seen.
In the fact that he sleeps, and in the details of how he sleeps, Jesus shows that he was at peace with the limitations that God had placed on his human nature. And so, if Jesus was at peace with those limitations, we should be at peace with them too.
As C.S. Lewis says, “There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God.” And as I heard another pastor recently put it: You shouldn’t try to be more Christ-like than Christ.
Christ accepted he needed rest. Christ accepted he had natural human limitations.
Where are you embarrassed or ashamed of the natural limitations the Lord has placed on you? How do you need to follow Jesus’s example here and accept and make peace with those limitations?
That’s the first thing we see here – that Jesus affirms our humanity, and unashamedly embraces its limitations in his incarnation.
Jesus Enters Our Story
The second thing we see here is that Jesus enters our story.
Now that is an important general truth. As Jesus comes in the incarnation, he enters the story of this world. As he comes into our lives, he enters the story of our lives. There are many ways we can talk about Jesus entering our story. But I want to focus on one specific aspect of it that is very present in this text: Here we see that Jesus enters the specific story of the people of God.
And a way he does that, which we may miss, but which a devout Jew would have quickly noticed, is that Jesus by his actions, and Mark by how he records these events, both connect what happens here, in this passage, with the Biblical story of Jonah.
For the people of God – for a first century Jew – the story of the Bible was their story. And that was true in a broad sense, but also in the specific accounts given in the Hebrew Scriptures. And one specific story found there was the story of Jonah. And the way this text plays out in Mark chapter four makes it very clear that we should read, and interpret, and understand this passage through the lens of the story of Jonah. And as we do, we will see that Jesus is entering into, drawing from, and then modifying and even transforming the story of Jonah.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
In Jonah chapter one, God calls Jonah to go to Nineveh and to preach to the people there. But Jonah refuses. And rather than going to Nineveh, he tries to flee in the opposite direction.
And so we read this in Jonah chapter one:
Now the word of the Lord [the word of Yahweh] came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of Yahweh.
4 But Yahweh hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
After that, the men draw lots, trying to discern on whose account the storm has come upon them, and when the lot falls to Jonah, he speaks up, and he explains to them that he is fleeing from, and rebelling against Yahweh – the God of heaven and earth – the God of the Bible. And the men are “exceedingly afraid” when they hear this.
The story continues:
11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 [Jonah] said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord [to Yahweh] “O Yahweh, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Yahweh, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared Yahweh exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows.
17 And Yahweh appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
There are so many parallels here, it seems clear that Jesus, in his actions, and Mark in how he recorded all this, are intentionally bringing to mind the story of Jonah.
In both stories the main character gets on a boat and then falls asleep. In both stories a storm arises that terrifies the veteran sailors in charge. In both stories the main character oddly remains asleep despite the terrible storm. In both stories the main character is awoken with a question and with a rebuke. In both stories the sea is miraculously calmed. In both stories the sailors are more fearful after the sea is calmed than they had been before. In both stories they respond with awed worship.
Similarities are also highlighted in Mark’s Greek word choice, with Mark using similar words or identical phrases as the Greek translation of Jonah (the Septuagint) in verses thirty-eight and forty-one. [Edwards, 149, 151; Keller, 61]
There are obvious similarities, and Mark, by his story-telling and word choice, is highlighting them for us.
And so, we are supposed to read this passage through the lens of Jonah. But once we do, and once we see all the similarities … very obvious differences also emerge: three in particular. And those differences will direct us to the remainder of our main points this morning.
The first obvious difference is that while Jonah boarded a boat in disobedience, Jesus boards a boat in obedience. Both Jonah and Jesus were called to preach God’s word – but where Jonah was seeking to avoid that calling, Jesus was obeying it. In this very passage he is traveling from one location where he has been preaching God’s Word, towards another location where he will continue to faithfully minister as God has called him.
Where Jonah is a picture of disobedience, Jesus is a picture of obedience. In this sense Jesus is a greater Jonah – a more faithful Jonah. And as we see that difference, we are put on alert that Jesus is not just entering the story of Jonah, he’s not just repeating it, but he is changing it – he is transforming it into something even better.
And the same is true in our own lives. Jesus doesn’t enter our lives to leave us where we are. He doesn’t enter our stories as a spectator. He enters our story in order to transform it – just as he does here with the first-century Jews, and their story, by taking up part of their story – part of their identity (the story of Jonah) – and transforming it.
So we’ve seen that Jesus not only embraces and affirms our humanity, but then he also enters our story in order to transform it.
Jesus Is Sovereign Over Our Storms
That brings us, then, to our third point, which comes from the next major difference between this story and the story of Jonah.
And here we see that: Jesus is sovereign over our storms.
As we’ve said, when the story begins, it seems to be a retelling, in part, of the story of Jonah, with Jesus filling the role of Jonah. But then, in verse thirty-nine, something completely unexpected happens.
In the story of Jonah, everyone knows they have to appeal to the Lord – they have to appeal to Yahweh – to calm the storm and the sea. The captain encourages everyone to call on their god for help. Jonah knows they have to appease Yahweh’s judgment. The sailors themselves call out to Yahweh by name. Everyone in the story looks to heaven and calls on God to act.
But Jesus doesn’t do that. Jesus doesn’t call on anyone else. There is no prayer here. There is no appeal. Instead, Jesus turns to the wind and to the sea, and he, himself, speaks to them. “Silence! Shut up!” is how one commentator translates Jesus’s words. [Wright, 51]
And when Jesus speaks, the wind and the sea obey – and with miraculous speed. At the end of verse thirty-nine we read: “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” As others point out, that can seem redundant until we realize that Mark is first talking about the wind, and then the sea. One author explains the significance of this – he writes: “When the winds stopped after Jesus’s rebuke, that could have been a coincidence. But if you’ve ever gone on an ocean cruise or lived on the shore, you know that even when the winds stop and a storm ends, the waves keep pounding for hours afterward. Yet when Jesus said, Quiet! Be still! Not only did the winds die down but the water instantly went dead calm.” [Keller, 54-55]
The speed of the calm may help explain the shock and the fear of the disciples. Because the speed made it clear that it was a miracle. And then they had to grapple with the source of that miracle.
In the story of Jonah, everyone had to appeal to God. And when they did, we’re told, “the sea ceased from its raging.” But here in Mark, Jesus himself spoke, and the same results occurred.
Suddenly, as we think of the story of Jonah, we realize that in this retelling, Jesus is filling more than one role. Jesus is the greater Jonah – that’s true. But he’s also Yahweh. He’s also the Lord. He’s also fulfilling the role of God in this retelling.
The sailors in Jonah turned to heaven and offered sacrifices to the Lord.
The disciples in Mark turned to Jesus and said, “Who is this?”
The answer is that this is the Lord. Jesus himself is God.
And as such, he demonstrates that he is sovereign over the wind and the waves. He is sovereign over the storms that come upon the seas. And with that he must also be sovereign over the storms that come into our lives.
Our text this morning is a reminder that when trouble comes upon us, when danger or suffering overtakes us, the One who is sovereign over our circumstances – the One who is sovereign over our struggles and our sufferings – is not a collection of impersonal energies … it’s not a vague force of fate or destiny … it’s not a mystery God hidden from our knowledge … it’s not even a known but distant God sequestered up in heaven … rather, the One who is sovereign over the storms and the circumstances of our lives is Jesus Christ – fully God, and fully man. He is the One whom even the wind and the sea obey. He is the One who has power over our circumstances. He is the One sovereign over whatever storms we may face.
And that should comfort us. It should push back against our fear.
Jesus’s rebuke to the disciples in verse forty is a rebuke because the disciples did not appreciate who it was who was with them: It was not a prophet, or a teacher, or a mere man. It was God the Son, come in human form. And since God the Son is sovereign, they had no reason to fear. Because he was always in control. Even as he slept, he was sovereign over their circumstances.
When you face difficulties, when you face threats, when you face various challenges – when storms suddenly come upon you, do you remember that Jesus himself – the same One we read of in the Gospels, the same one who walked the earth in Palestine, the same one we place our trust in as our Lord and Savior – do you remember that Jesus himself is sovereign over the storm you face?
That’s the third key thing that we see here: Jesus is not just the greater Jonah – he also is the sovereign Lord. And as such, he is not just with us in the storms of life, but he is sovereign over the storms of life.
So first, we see that Jesus shares in and affirms our humanity.
Second, we see that Jesus enters our story.
Third, we see that Jesus is sovereign over the storms that we face.
Jesus Is Swallowed-Up for Our Salvation
Fourth and finally, we need to recognize how this story points to our salvation.
And we see this when we look at the text once more through the lens of the story of Jonah.
Remember, we saw many parallels – many similarities between the two stories. But we also said that there were at least three notable differences. The first was that where Jonah was unfaithful and disobedient, Jesus was faithful and obedient – Jesus was not a repeat of Jonah, but a greater Jonah.
Second, we saw that where Jonah appealed to the Lord to calm the storm, Jesus calmed the storm himself. Jesus is not just the greater Jonah, he’s also the sovereign Lord.
The final major difference we see between this story and the story of Jonah comes out when we remember what happened to Jonah at the end of that chapter.
As one author puts it: When faced with the storm, Jonah effectively says to the sailors: “The only way for you to be saved, is for me to be thrown into the storm of God’s judgment. If I am swallowed up in the judgment of God, then you will live.” And with that recognition, Jonah allows himself to be thrown in and swallowed up in the storm of God’s judgment.
But Jesus doesn’t.
Or does he?
Someone who knows the Hebrew Scriptures, and who’s reading Mark’s gospel, and thinking, at this point, of the story of Jonah, would be especially struck by this omission. But if he’s paying attention, then he won’t be confused by the time he got to the end of Mark’s gospel.
Because what is anticipated here at the end of chapter four will be fulfilled by the time we get to chapter fifteen.
Like Jonah, Jesus would be thrown into the storm of God’s judgment, so that his companions could be saved.
But unlike Jonah, the storm of judgment he would be cast into was not for his own sin, but for ours.
On the cross, Jesus was willingly cast into the greatest and most terrifying storm we can face: the storm of God’s judgment due to us for our sin and our rebellion against him. He was swallowed up in judgment so that we could be saved. He descended into the darkness so that we might ascend to the light. He perished so that we might live.
Which is one reason why, in Matthew’s gospel Jesus will say that in his coming, one “greater than Jonah is here.” [Matthew 12:41]
Like Jonah, Jesus would be cast into God’s judgment. Like Jonah, he would descend into the heart of the earth, remaining there for three days. And like Jonah he would return to new life, preaching the kingdom to the world.
But where Jonah, swallowed and sheltered by the fish, miraculously lived out a picture of death and resurrection, Jesus would actually die, and actually be raised. Jesus would prove himself, once again, to be the greater Jonah. [Keller, 61-62]
As we consider the cross – as we consider Jesus being cast into the storm of God’s judgment for our salvation – then there are at least two important applications for us we need to consider.
The first is that we must see that Jesus has already calmed the most threatening storm we can face in our existence.
We may face many challenges in life. We may face many trials. Some of you have endured great and terrible suffering.
But nothing you have faced, or ever will face, can measure up to the judgment due to you for your sin and rebellion against God.
You and I have sinned against God. We have rebelled against our Maker. God created us, and sustains us every moment, and we have responded by rejecting him, by kicking against his authority in our lives, by breaking his laws and commandments. We have run from him and rejected him.
When we reject the One who made us … what we deserve is to be unmade. When we run from the one who gives us life, what we deserve is to have that life revoked. By our sin and rebellion we deserve eternal destruction, and death. We deserve the judgment of God to fall upon us and undo us, like a fierce and dreadful storm.
When that storm is compared to the other storms we face in life, we quickly realize that the storm of God’s judgment is far more terrifying than any other storm, and also far more justly deserved by us than any other storm. That is the storm we should be cast into.
But then, on the cross, Jesus willingly offered himself to be thrown into it, rather than us. He experienced the fullness of what we deserve for our sin, until the full storm of God’s judgment, due to us, was absorbed by him.
And that should cause us to rejoice. That should overwhelm us with gratitude. That should make us fall down and worship Jesus for what he has done for us.
That is the most important application of this text. That is central – that is key.
But then, second, when you really see what Jesus did in order to calm the greatest storm that could ever threaten you – when you see how he himself took on the suffering that you deserve so that you might be saved – then as you face the other, lesser, but still very real, storms of life … you should have an unshakable assurance that Jesus, in his sovereign care of you, really does love you.
And we should be assured of that even when we don’t understand why he has allowed the things he has allowed into our lives.
We see this in our text if we consider one more puzzling detail about this passage.
Jesus, as we said, proves that he is sovereign over the wind and the waves. He speaks, and they become calm.
But as we consider that, we may wonder – and perhaps the disciples at some point wondered this too: if Jesus was sovereign over the wind and the waves to begin with, then why did he let them act up in the first place? Why let the wind blow, why let the waves rage, why let the boat begin to fill, why let the disciples’ fears begin to mount? If Jesus was sovereign, couldn’t he have just prevented the whole thing from happening?
And indeed, we can often wonder the same thing. When we face the trials of suffering and struggle in this life, when our circumstances challenge or oppress us, as we turn to God, and even as we trust in his power and his control of all things, we can find ourselves wondering: “Why God, would you allow this even to happen? I know you are sovereign over it; I trust that you have power over it. But if you can stop this, then why did you even allow it to start – why did you let me enter this storm in the first place?”
And when we wrestle with such thoughts, we may find ourselves questioning not God’s power – not his sovereignty – but his love. We might find ourselves thinking “If you really loved me, Lord, you wouldn’t have allowed this storm to strike me in the first place.”
It’s a common feeling.
It seems, in many ways, to be some part of the feeling of the disciples. Their question, in verse thirty-eight is not about Jesus’s power but about his love: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” they ask.
They question whether Jesus cares about them. And that question may extend beyond their feared outcome to the very circumstances of their fears. They might have wondered: “Jesus, if you really care about us, why did you allow the storm to fall upon us? Why did you let us get so scared?”
Interestingly, in Mark chapter four, Jesus doesn’t answer that question. He doesn’t explain why he let the events and the storm play out as he did.
But as we zoom out, and as we remember that Jesus was not only with them in the midst of this storm, but he was willingly cast into the ultimate storm of God’s judgment for their sake, then the one thing we can know is that whatever Jesus’s reason for allowing the storm to hit them in the first place, his reason could not have been that he didn’t love them. [Keller, 56-62]
Tim Keller puts it like this – he writes: “If the sight of Jesus [on the cross] bowing his head into that ultimate storm [of God’s judgment] is burned into the core of your being, you will never say, ‘God, don’t you care?’ And if you know that he did not abandon you in that ultimate storm, what makes you think he would abandon you in the much smaller storms you’re experiencing right now? And, someday, of course, he will return and still all storms for eternity. / If you let that penetrate to the very center of your being, you will know he loves you. You will know he cares. And then you will have the power to handle anything in life with poise.” [Keller, 62]
Where do you need to reflect more deeply on that? Where do you need to meditate, and pray about, and sing about, what Christ endured for you? And as you see that, and as you believe that, in what circumstances right now do you need to be reminded that though you do not know Jesus’s purpose in the storm that is before you, you know that whatever he is doing, he must love you? Because he proved that on the cross.
In our text this morning we are reminded that Jesus is with us: He takes on our humanity, and he enters into our story – he knows our weaknesses, and he affirms our limitations. Jesus is close to us, not far off.
At the very same time, we are reminded that Jesus is over us – he is sovereign over our circumstances, he is more powerful than whatever storms we face in this life.
And finally, we are reminded of Jesus’s great love for us … that his love is a costly love … that we deserved a storm of judgment for our sin – our rebellion against God – and Jesus did not just hold that storm back with just the power of his words … rather, he absorbed the full power of that storm at the cost of his life.
That is how great his love is for us.
And so, as we go from here, let us marvel at his power. Let us wonder at his love. Let us offer him our thanks and praise.
And let us trust him when he allows smaller storms to fall upon us … knowing that however painful they may be, however frightful they may be, he is with us, he is sovereign over us, he deeply loves us, and he will never leave us nor forsake us.
And so when the storms rage, let us put our faith in him.
This sermon draws on material from:
Bayer, Hans. Introduction and notes to Mark in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
Edwards, James R. The Gospel According to Mark. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.
Horne, Mark. The Victory According to Mark: An Exposition of the Second Gospel. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003.
Keller, Timothy. Jesus the King. New York, NY: Penguin, 2011.
Leithart, Peter J. The Gospel of Matthew Through New Eyes: Volume One, Jesus as Israel. Monroe, LA: Athanasius Press, 2017.
Witherington, Ben III. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
Wright, N.T. Mark for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.
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